Thursday 24 July 2014

My Top 10 Minis Of All Time

Last week over at the Oldhammer Facebook group, Juck Vaughan posed this very succinct question:

"What are your top ten pieces of all time?"

The question generated quite a bit of interest, with plenty of suggestions. I myself waded in with a list of 10 miniatures of my personal favourites. Think about the implications of the question though - is it really possible to select just 10 figures? Imagine that you are being forced by your wife/husband, girlfriend/boyfriend, partner or significant other to sell your entire collection of figures. You have been granted a small concession and can keep, trade or buy just 10 figures which are representative of your time in the hobby.

Your decision-making process would probably consider a range of factors; perhaps overall aesthics, fond memories, character or quality of sculpt.

I came up with my top 10 in the space of the 3-4 minutes it took to write my Facebook post. In the intervening week, I've had chance to think again and reconsider...and to be honest, I'm pretty happy with the selection. While there are perhaps one or two figures I could drop in for others, I think I'll stick with my gut reaction! The figures are all Citadel, because that's what I know and enjoy. In no particular order:

Jhary a-Conel (Jes Goodwin, Eternal Champions, 1987) 

I'm a latecomer to the Eternal Champions range, only discovering them in the last 12 months, however Jes Goodwin's Jhary sculpt is a perfect realisation of the character and incredibly finely sculpted. It's noticable that Jes' figures have become more chunky since.

Slannesh Champion of Chaos (Jes Goodwin, Warhammer, 1989)

The Chaos Champions range from 1989 are wonderful, and this Slannesh champion is the pick of the crop - delicate and imposing at the same time and packed full of character and gorgeous details.
Chaos Beastman (Jes Goodwin, Warhammer, 1989?)

Yet another Jes Goodwin sculpt - this figure brilliantly shows off the bestial and warped nature of chaos beastmen without resorting to just being a goatman.
Piscean Warrior (??, Rogue Trader, 1987)

In the early 2000s, I bought this Piscean warrior purely on a whim. It resurrected my interest in classic Citadel figures and completely changed the direction of my collecting habit; I lost interest in large, new, shiny armies, and instead started buying up old lead. Not to mention it's a fabulous figure in its own right!

Elf Kicker (Jes Goodwin, Blood Bowl, 1988)

It's an Elf, by Jes Goodwin, so it must be good. Oh, and it's in a dynamic sporting pose for my favourite game. It's got 'winner' written all over it!
Skaven Thrower (Jes Goodwin, Blood Bowl, 1988)

See above, but replace "Elf" with "Ratman"!
Eldar Trader (Aly Morrison, Rogue Trader, 1988)

This Eldar trader just oozes arrogance. The pose is all the better for being entirely non-combatant. I wish Citadel has released more figures in this vein.
Genestealer Magus (Jes Goodwin, Rogue Trader, 1990?)

Yet again, Jes' design is flawless. I love the contrast between the imposing headgear and tattered hem of his robe. It's wishful thinking, but maybe one day Jes will sculpt a female magus based on his sketch in the original Space Hulk rulebook?
Beast Trooper Gaxt (??, Rogue Trader, 1988)

Abhumans as they should be - not tacked on to a chaos army, but part and parcel of the Imperium
Eldar Howling Banshee (Jes Goodwin, Rogue Trader, 1990)
And finally, the model that really started a 20+ year love affair with Eldar. My first ever conversion was based on this model (I swapped the torso with that of an Eldar Guardian, having cut them both in half with nail scissors!). I am yet to see another Eldar model that captures the grace, elegance and poise quite as much as this one.

So, that's my top ten*. Interestingly, all of the models fall within a very tight timeframe of just 3 years, correlating to the period when I started gaming. You'll also note that 70% of my selection are Jes Goodwin sculpts (no surprise as he's my favourite sculptor). Elves are also pretty well represented, and I have chosen several aliens and very few humans...a similar pattern that's been reflected in my army / warband / team choices over the years.

*when I posted my list on Facebook, somehow I managed to choose a top '11' figures. Poor old Space Slann Commander Xix ended up being dropped out of the final selection.

So then...what are your top 10?


  1. I love to see other people's lists of favourite figs and the beauty of it being how much it can differ or be similar to your own. Hope to see some good replies to this post. Juck Vaughan and I have known each other since middle school; nearly 30 years and have often discussed this subject with much debate. We do come to some agreement judging by what he listed on the Facebook page though.

    1. I agree - this is an enjoyable topic, well worth revisiting time and again! I know one guy who is very fond of Bob Olley's sculpts, whereas several other people loathe them. It all makes for great discussion - I am grateful to Juck for posting the original question :)

    2. Yeah, Juck remembers you from old Blood Bowl tournaments. He was a big fan of your converted teams.

  2. Oh and here are my top 10 (in sort of order). This was posted on Juck's thread on Facebook but I'll put it up again.
    C33 Chaos General
    C33 Chaos Hero
    Chaos Battering Ram
    Dwarf Juggernaut
    Chaos Ogre
    Gladiator Ogre
    1st Edition Blood Bowl Ogre
    Space Marine Brother Napier
    Gladius, Heroic Fighter
    Tuern Redvenom, Dark Elf BB star

    1. It's a great list Ed. I sense a slight bias to Chaos and Ogres? ;)

    2. Haha! Yeah I guess my list does lack a bit eclecticism.

  3. I have the Beastman model at least! However, as it is more human than beast I use it as a Thug.

    1. I agree, he works perfectly as a thug...I can imagine him in a unit with a selection of other club-armed thugs really living up to their name!

  4. Great list Axiom. That skaven BB team is one of my all time fave sub-sets, with the thrower being the tip top of them. Good call there. The IG Beastman packmaster would pip the rifle toting guy for me, but its cool that he makes the cut into your top ten.

    Im an Eldar fan too and I have painted a lot of them over the years, which inevitably results in a fondness for Goodwin sculpts.

    I dont know how long it would take me to whittle down my favourites to ten. I might give it a shot, but it will have to wait until after BOYL. Hobby time is too precious right now!

    You and I must have a chat about how you procured those 28mm Armorcast Eldar knights (not in your top ten, but Eldar for sure, so not totally OT). I have a powerful urge to try and get one soon if I can manage it.

    1. Can't beat those BB Skaven eh? I love the beastmen packmaster also, but there's something about the understated basic trooper that appeals to me more.

      Make sure you do have a think about the top 10 - I'd love to see what you can come up with :)

      We can chat about Eldar knights any time you like :p

  5. Al lof them are models I adore too. I'm a big Jes Goodwin fan as you are and though eldars were not my first love but second, I have to say their ranges offer some of th ebest we can get.
    I'll have a thought about my personnal top ten but if I was issued yours to live the rest of my life with, I'd be more than a happy man !

  6. A great list of miniatures, lots of which would make my own list (especially the Jes Goodwin sculpts), but the elf kicker wins for me. I've had a go after being inspired by your choices, you can see them here if you're interested:

  7. Here is a painted "Thrower 2" as you call him. Mine was called Longbomb Slickfur.